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FAMU and MVSU headed to Tuscaloosa for NCAA Softball Regional

May 14, 2006

The Florida A&M Lady Rattler and Mississippi Valley State Devilette Softball Teams will open their quest for the 2006 NCAA Division I Softball Championships Friday in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional at the University of Alabama.

FAMU (39-23), winners of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title, will tangle with Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech (46-20) at 4:00pm, while host and #5 national seed Alabama (49-9) of the Southeastern Conference, will take on Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) champion MVSU (23-28)at 6:30pm.

This will be Florida A&M's third regional trip since 1999 and their second straight regional invite. They took part in the Auburn Regional last season and earned a trip to the West Regional at Fresno (Calif.) State in 1999.

"I'm very excited about this regional," FAMU coach Veronica Wiggins said, just moments after the pairings were announced Sunday. "It really didn't matter who we ended up with, we're just ready to go and play."

In 1995, 1997 and 1998, the Lady Rattlers participated in best-of-three NCAA Play-In Series, prior to the tournament expansion to the current 64-team format in 1999.

Having won the SWAC Softball title three years in a row, this will be the second consecutive trip for MVSU to the Tuscaloosa Regional where the Devilettes faced Alabama in 2005.

“The ladies have worked extremely hard all year to get to this point,” said MVSU head coach Lee Smith. “We feel very blessed to have enjoyed the success we have and look forward to carrying momentum into the tournament.”

The Devilettes and Tide have already met twice this year with Alabama winning both games 6-1 and 7-0 in the Bama Bash! at the beginning of the season.

Twenty-nine conferences were awarded automatic qualification to the 64-team field, and the remaining 35 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket. The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and will play at campus sites this weekend.

The winners of the 16 regional bouts will pair off in eight (8) best two-of-three Super Regional matchups, May 26-28, with the eight winners advancing to the College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the first weekend in June.

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